China Delays Report Suggesting North Korea Violated Sanctions
The report, by a United Nations panel of experts, said prohibited “ballistic missile-related items” were suspected of being transferred between North Korea and Iran in breach of United Nations sanctions against North Korea. It said the transfers were believed to be taking place on regular scheduled flights of Air Koryo and Iran Air, using air cargo hubs that had less stringent security than passenger terminals.
The panel’s findings, first reported by Reuters, said that the technology transfers had “trans-shipment through a neighboring third country.” The report did not specify which, but several United Nations diplomats identified that country as China, North Korea’s neighbor and most important ally.
The report was submitted to Security Council members over the weekend, but had been delayed for days before that after the Chinese expert on the panel refused to sign off on the report.
“The Chinese expert refused to sign the report, under pressure from Beijing, and this raises serious issues about a panel of experts that is supposed to be free from political interference,” said a senior United Nations diplomat, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the issue.